Durham is (Missing) Sparkplug to Giants Offense

The Giants NEED Ray Durham back healthy ASAP.

With the trade for Eric Young, it only emphasizes the urgent need the Giants offense has to get Ray Durham back into the lineup. Brian Sabean said that the Giants want to take their time getting him healthy and back contributing, hence they did this move to get more offense. Without him in the lineup, Giants fans can feel that the Giants have not been scoring as many runs. And with our fluid pitching staff situation, due to the multitude of injuries, it cannot afford to lose that margin of runs scored. It seems obvious to say that the Giants need Ray Durham in the lineup, but what do the numbers say?

It says what our guts have been screaming out loud. In the 85 games that he had played for more than a plate appearance in the game, the Giants have scored 406 runs. That works out to an average of 4.78 runs per game. In the 38 games that he either did not play in or batted no more than 1 plate appearance in, the Giants have scored 165 runs. That works out to an average of 4.34 runs per game.

That does not seem to be a large margin, about 0.44 runs per game or about 10 percent. But with a team ERA of 3.84, that works out to a lot, with 4 and 5 runs scored in a game being a tipping point as far as the Giants winning goes. The Giants this year have a record of 7-9 in games where they score 4 runs (obviously it is worse the less runs they score, though they are 9-9 in games where they score 3 runs). However, they have a stellar record of 15-3 in games where they score 5 runs.

Obviously, with Ray Durham in the lineup and playing the full game, they Giants score 5 or more runs much more often than they do without Ray in the lineup. But what do the numbers say? With Ray out of the lineup the Giants scored 5 or more runs 16 times out of 38, or 42 percent of the time. With Ray in the lineup the Giants scored 5 or more runs 44 times out of 85, or 52 percent of the times. This doesn't seem like much, but based on these percentages, that accounts for about 7 more wins or 14 games over .500; the Giants are currently 23 games over .500 so Ray Durham being in the lineup has been contributed greatly to most of the games over .500 that the Giants are currently at.

Another way of looking at this is examining the record of the Giants with and without Ray Durham, which again back the value of Ray Durham in the Giants lineup. When Ray is out of the lineup, the Giants have been 16-22 or a .421 winning percentage. When Ray is in the lineup, the Giants have been 57-28 or a .671 winning percentage. If the Giants had played the same for those 85 games without Ray, they would have won only 36 games, meaning that having Ray in the lineup added 21 games to the win total for the Giants. Obviously, other factors like Barry or others being out of the lineup or the pitcher pitching affects this total as well, but that does show that the value of having Ray Durham in the Giants lineup is immense, just like the other statistics above.

All in all, Giants fans have known the value of having a Ray Durham in the lineup. However, the statistics indicate a greater influence than many would have guessed. So Giants fans should take heart that the Giants have gone out and acquired Eric Young so that we can rest Ray Durham's valuable legs, and get him back healthy and ready to supercharge our lineup at the top of the order. Get well soon Ray! Our offense really needs you!

Martin Lee writes 'A Biased Giant's Fan's View' for SFDugout.com when the mood and muse strikes him. He will believe to his dying days that Bobby Bonds was robbed of being the first 40-40 player. E-mail him at GoGiants_25@yahoo.com and maybe he'll reply back.

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